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UAE considers first $2 billion investment in South Korea

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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol applauds at the Korea-UAE Business Forum held at a hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 16 (local time).
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol applauds at the Korea-UAE Business Forum held at a hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 16 (local time).



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged to invest $30 billion in South Korea at a bilateral summit in January and is now embarking on that investment in South Korea. It is reviewing US$2 billion worth of South Korean investment opportunities, focusing on priority investment cooperation areas such as energy, information and communication technology (ICT) and K-culture.

According to South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MSF), the delegation from Abu Dhabi consisted of personnel from major sovereign wealth funds and companies such as Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). The joint statement was issued during a two-day visit to South Korea on May 15-16.

During the visit, the delegation met with Choo Kyung-ho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Finance of South Korea, held bilateral talks with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy and the Korea Development Bank to discuss ways to promote investment, and conducted direct interactions with a number of Korean companies and Cooperation with financial institutions.

The visit marks the implementation of the UAE’s previously announced US$30 billion investment in South Korea. President Yoon and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, agreed to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation at their January summit.

The UAE prioritizes investments in energy, ICT, agricultural technology, biotechnology, aerospace and Korean culture.

“The joint statement confirms that UAE sovereign wealth funds and companies are reviewing potential investment opportunities worth US$2 billion in South Korea, approximately four months since President Yoon attracted a US$30 billion strategic investment during his state visit to the UAE in January,” The South Korean government says it’s official. “This large-scale investment in Korea is expected to help Korean companies, including promising Korean startups, grow to the next level.”

At the same time, the non-oil bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached about US$5.3 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 14%. UAE exports to South Korea also rose by more than 17 percent to $781 million last year.

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